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Spiritual practice ENDED 7 years of mental illness...

(73 Posts)
flakecake Sun 17-Mar-13 11:35:26

Hi all,
I used to talk on here many moons ago (2005-2007), as I was very very mentally disturbed and found every day a struggle. After 7 years of suffering I found out the cause of my pain was spiritual. Daily prayer and listening to Qur'an bought me out of it in 6 months. Bare in mind I did the drugs thing for 7 years and in a cyclical pattern had times when I felt I would not survive one more day without tranquilizers e.g diazepam. The cause, for me, was negative spirits... I am just throwing it out there for you all to consider, as now I have not been on medication for a year and feel like ME again, I feel normal. (grin)

BLOO3Z Sun 17-Mar-13 11:38:57

Negative spirits! tell us more, was it the place you where living in?

flakecake Sun 17-Mar-13 12:19:05

Hi BLoo32,
Gosh, I will try to keep it short and sweet. You know, spirits/the unseen are around us all the time? So, no, not necessarily the place. I became possessed in August 2004, five months after having my daughter... I should say partially possessed; but at the time that it happened I did not recognise it for what it was and was diagnoised with post-natal psychosis, depression, schizo-effective disorder. I was open to possession because I was weak and had experienced many years of loneliness and after a few years isolation became traumatic for me, I guess like it does to many people.

flakecake Sun 17-Mar-13 12:21:17

Anyone that is interested I can email my manuscript.... it is nearly finished, don't know why I just don't finish it?

nenevomito Sun 17-Mar-13 12:42:05

In general, I'd say thinking that you are, or have been posessed by evil spirits doesn't exactly point to mental health.

MrsWolowitz Sun 17-Mar-13 12:48:38

I'm glad you're feeling better flake but please don't suggest that all mental health is down to possession or suchlike.

I have bipolar. I do not have demons or whatever.

To suggest otherwise is at best ignorant and at worst offensive and damaging.

noisytoys Sun 17-Mar-13 12:53:00

I have Bipolar too. DD2 has ASD. I am a devout Christian. To say me or DD are possessed is, quite frankly, bollocks!!

It's great that you're feeling better. I think it was the leprauchauns wot done it. Or the men from mars. Or the aliens in the coffee.

Just as much chance of that as being possessed by spirits.

Let me guess - you have a book to sell? Or a church to fill with worshippers?


fuzzpig Sun 17-Mar-13 12:55:55

This is very similar to what a few of my friends said about themselves.

We were in a psychiatric unit at the time.

TheAccidentalExhibitionist Sun 17-Mar-13 12:56:12

Flakecake you don't sound as well as you think you are.
Can you discuss your current thinking with your mental health team?

MrsWolowitz Sun 17-Mar-13 12:57:18

noisy couldn't agree more. I'm a Christian and in no way at all do I think that my illness is due to a spiritual void or suchlike.

I'm very fulfilled spiritually and if anything when bipolar is crapping in my face, my faith gets me through it more than anything else.

colditz Sun 17-Mar-13 12:59:27

With all kindness and respect, you need to go back to your doctor. Your faith will not end if you get an illness treated, nobody will take your spirituality away from you, but you do not sound at all well.

flakecake Sun 17-Mar-13 13:20:26

Wow! Did you all not read the post?!

Never mind, as I said, it was just something for people who have been unwell for a long time to consider a spiritual aspect. As for doctors, they did not help me, my final healing came directly from God, through prayer and fasting. If you are dissing what I am saying and yet still calling yourself a Christain, then you need to seriously think about whether you are a true believer or not? Look up what Jesus Christ says about human illness. In 7 years no doctor bought me back to full health. I have been off meds for a year and no one I know/meet daily thinks I am ill. Gosh, forget it! Stay in your illness

flakecake Sun 17-Mar-13 13:23:59

Colditz: that's your disbelief; your very secularised. You obviously missed the bit where I said, I had taken meds for 7 years. And no, no church to fill, I pray at home, don't need to go into any particular building as if God is contained in one!? and I am a Muslim

flakecake Sun 17-Mar-13 13:25:46

So, what diagnosis would you give Jesus Christ if you met him today? Think about it, carefully

MrsWolowitz Sun 17-Mar-13 13:32:27

Jesus didn't have a mental illness OP.

I'm glad you feel better but I do think it could be an idea to discuss your thoughts with a doctor.

TheSilveryPussycat Sun 17-Mar-13 13:32:44

cake I agree with you that spirituality can contribute much to mental well-being (even though I am actually an atheist).

Demons, not so much. My own mh improved overnight as soon as I started exorcism divorce proceedings against my now Ex.

flakecake Sun 17-Mar-13 13:50:09

MrsWolowitz: I've done that... for years... enough's, enough. Please read the Gospel, and consider... is your God a living God, able to do all things? Just consider. I know I feel well and that is not something another human being can tell me.
Don't worry guys, I had 'services' running in and out my home all Summer 2012, looking for the slightest sign of craziness; they could not find it, were very confused, and I have been signed off from the mental health team. I think they came to see that all in mine and my daughters life was well whether they agreed with what I was saying or not.

What TheSilveryPussycat says, pretty much.

Honestly, I think it's lovely that you've come on here to share your experience. I didn't read it as an assertion that all mental illness is caused by evil spirits either- just that that was what you felt it had been in your case. For what it's worth, I don't think you sound ill, especially: there are many different ways of looking at life and reality, luckily.

I would, however, suggest that you entertain the idea that there is more than one explanation for anything- and there may not have been any spirits plaguing you- or not in the sense that you seem to believe. Aside from anything, this can be counter-productive as fear can definitely feed into these influences growing stronger. In this situation, some doubt might be a good thing, as is often the case with any new belief system. (Hope that makes sense!)

flakecake Sun 17-Mar-13 14:09:24

Yes, thank you Silvery... I was just putting it 'out there' as I found, during the seven years I was ill, spiritual aspects of mental health are in NO WAY acknowledge and I was just saying (in my case) the causation was spiritual; so this may be the case for others.
So, after 7 years off battling something from a biological perspective, I found hitting it from a spiritual perspective (because the causation was demonic/bad spirit) healed me totally. In fairness, I used to be Catholic, and the priests really don't even believe it.
Of course there is more than one explanation for things, human life is complex, but spirituality should not be forgotten as it has been.

Please, I don't care what you all believe in, but it may be that if prayer and fasting helped me, it may help someone else, that's all!

flakecake Sun 17-Mar-13 14:11:47

Thanks silverypussycat! Bit scarey on here... Bit weird for me to be scared of anything after what I've been through!!! Not a joke

TheRealFellatio Sun 17-Mar-13 14:17:13

Mmmm. Well I don't really care whether you want to call it 'possession' by bad spirits, or whether the doctors prefer to call it post-natal psychosis and schizo-effective disorder, tis all the same to me. You were very ill and now you seem much better. Good for you. But please keep taking the medication otherwise the evil spirits might come back.

I am delighted for you that you seem to have found peace and good health at last.

TrampyPants Sun 17-Mar-13 14:17:17

I don't think its appropriate to post this on a forum used by people who suffer delusions, anxiety, paranoia and EDs.

There is a great spirituality forum which would be far less damaging for vulnerable posterts.

I wish you well. But posters who have been diagnosed with mh issues should continue meds etc, not put all their faith in spirituality. And should certainly not fast.

TheSecondComing Sun 17-Mar-13 14:18:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

flakecake Sun 17-Mar-13 14:21:36

And I do not see how suggesting bad-spirits are the cause of some human illness is offensive or damaging... this is just the reality of what happens to some people.
You know, I feel a successful mental health team should have a lot of people eventually turning round to them and saying,- thanks, I feel better; Not, - Gosh, will I be this ill for the rest of my life?

TrampyPants Sun 17-Mar-13 14:23:39

I know you don't, and that's what so concerning.

flakecake Sun 17-Mar-13 14:24:42

Trampypants: You obviously did not read my initial post carefully. I did not tell anyone to stop taking their meds?!!!!!

flakecake Sun 17-Mar-13 14:27:07

Gosh... let me stop repeating myself... Enjoy your meds, er, for the rest of your lives

LoopaDeLoopa Sun 17-Mar-13 14:29:14

OK... Um... to be brutally frank you sound all that well OP confused

LoopaDeLoopa Sun 17-Mar-13 14:29:43

don't dammit

TrampyPants Sun 17-Mar-13 14:31:34

I did, I was merely posting that for the benefit of vulnerable posters reading this. And why do you assume that I am on meds? Because I disagree with your reasoning in posting here? Because I feel that you are irresponsible? Or because I didn't say "gosh, you're right! Satan stopped me from being able to eat/made me self-harm/made me suicidal"?

BuddyButters Sun 17-Mar-13 14:35:13

If you think you are or have been possessed you really need to get back on the meds.

You really need to go and talk to your doctor and other medical professionals.

flakecake Sun 17-Mar-13 14:38:10

Live's' the comment was aimed at a few people. ummm? Of course you do NOT have to agree with me. Do you harm yourself? If yes, do you know the cause?

Maryz Sun 17-Mar-13 14:40:46

I agree with what Trampy said. I don't think it is helpful to suggest to other people that they might be "possessed".

I think some spiritual practices, belonging to a faith community, and spiritual awareness/ exploration could be helpful in feeling grounded and having a sense of perspective in life which can help with our mental health.

Someone suggested to me going for a walk as a spiritual practice, and someone else suggested reading something inspiring every day. Prayers, like poems, can be very beautiful and helpful, as can the collected wisdom to be found from wise people of many faiths and cultures over many years.

However personally I don't believe in people being possessed by evil spirits.
And I agree with others that if you've been under the care of HCP's regarding your mental health you should continue to communicate with them about new ideas and practices that you are finding helpful.

Best wishes to all reading x

flakecake Sun 17-Mar-13 14:50:59

Jugglingfromheretothere: Well, if i'd continued communicating with them I would not be free now, looking after my daughter, looking after myself, hanging with my friends, looking for work, enjoying my flute/clarinet etc... but that's your opinion, I have personally had enough of them, and i am enjoying life without them and without medication, thanks

TrampyPants Sun 17-Mar-13 14:55:01

Mh professionals are not the enemy. They are there to help us.

And op, I assume that the self-harming question was aimed at me, I have issues. I know what caused them. The only maleavolant spirits involved were my parents. But, if I'd read this post a few years ago I would have made myself very ill, not being rational and all.

As long as you're OK flakecake, and give sound advice to others too, I'm sure that's all anyone posting here is concerned about.

TheAccidentalExhibitionist Sun 17-Mar-13 15:12:22

Op please do not PM me, I find it intimidating. I'm glad you feel well but you don't come across as being well.

I believe in evil spirits just as much as the tooth fairy (which is not at all)

Please go and talk to your MH team and let them be the judge of how you are feeling.

TheSecondComing Sun 17-Mar-13 15:18:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TrampyPants Sun 17-Mar-13 15:23:00

I got a pm too. I will report it.

AvonCallingBarksdale Sun 17-Mar-13 15:25:11

OP, I would second what others are saying - I think it would be a really good idea to speak to your MH team and tell them what you've told us on here. Just that. Good luck.

TheAccidentalExhibitionist Sun 17-Mar-13 15:37:37

Good idea Trampypants

fuzzpig Sun 17-Mar-13 15:47:21

I got a PM too.

I don't have a mental health team, they signed me off after 6 months of trying to find a problem with me and dd they found none.
good luck

psychiatric unit, well, okay, a lot of possessed people end up there!

You don't say hmm they are there because they are so mentally unwell that they think they are possessed!


Maryz Sun 17-Mar-13 15:51:13

Oh, dear.

I have reported this thread, by the way. I don't think you sound terribly well op, and I'm not sure that pm-ing people is a very good way of communicating.

You may upset someone.

nenevomito Sun 17-Mar-13 15:57:09

I'm all for people finding faith and spirituality helpful in difficult times, it's not something I turn to being an atheist, but each to their own.

Thinking your MH problems are down to possession by evil spirits is a whole different kettle of fish, mainly because there's no such thing as possession or evil spirits.

I've gone through periods of believing I was better and not taking meds. It works for a while, particularly when I'm hypomanic as I feel fantastic. The problem is that it doesn't last forever, and I'm concerned that next time you're ill, you'll think you're possessed instead of getting help.

As it is, the only people I've ever met who thought they were/ have been possessed, were the people I met as an inpatient.

I can't stop you from kidding yourself, but I'd urge anyone reading this utter bollocks too think twice before blaming your MH problems on possession.

TrampyPants Sun 17-Mar-13 15:58:01

fuzzpig, I totally agree. I agree with Beertrix that some people find a peace from spirituality and that CAN help. but, alongside regular contact with MHPs and the correct treatment, whether it's medication, CBT or a short stay.

And I also agree with Mary, pming posters who disagree with you is creepy and intimidating. I have blocked and reported the PM, I would urge anyone else to do the same.

TrampyPants Sun 17-Mar-13 15:58:33

babyheave, yes to all that.

MarvellousYou Sun 17-Mar-13 16:14:36

I believe there are evil spirits and I believe in demon possession. I also believe that you are harming people by coming on here and making such a sweeping statement about mental health and spirituality. I don't think you could have been more vague/unhelpful and it worries me that you don't actually 'know' what you're talking about. I'm glad you feel well but maybe a talk forum isn't the best place to share your new found 'freedom'.

FripperiesAndBollocks Sun 17-Mar-13 16:19:55

I think this board is actually the worst possible placxe you could post this crap.

You need medical help for your delusions and telling others that no meds and lots of prayer is a cure for mental health issues is dangerous, not to mention batshit.

MarvellousYou Sun 17-Mar-13 16:25:13

I kind of 'get' what the OP is going on about and yes indeed it is 'batshit' and dangerous to suggest it is anything other than that.

PilgrimFellowship Mon 18-Mar-13 00:54:27

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

ReallyTired Mon 18-Mar-13 20:41:51

I can understand where they OP is coming from. Having a good spirtual life does help with mental illness. Going to church/ mosque helps you look outside yourself, it gives you a sense of community, purpose. Prayer can have a calming effect.

I suppose what the bible refers to as evil spirits is what muslims call ginns. I don't believe that people are pocessed by demons, but I do not think that people can be tormented by demons. However before you say I am completely and utterly mad, you have to decide on a definition of what a demon is. I use the term "demon" to describe conditions that affect our personality and the essence of who we are.

I don't think that demons are beings with horns and pointy sticks. I think that the terms "demons", "evil spirts", "ginns" were used to describe things that people did not understand. Ie epilesy, scisropenha, biopolar, autism or personality disorder. Certainly these conditions were a terrible cross for people to carry two thousand years ago as they are today. Mental illness attacks the soul and the essence of who people are. It is understandable why two thousand years ago people believed in demon pocession.

Descibing mental health conditions is a bit like comparing the story of creation with the big bang theory.

BLOO3Z Wed 20-Mar-13 11:29:35

flakecake I am really pleased that you are feeling well now and at peace, are you living in the same house now? The reason Im asking is because the place you live in can be the cause not you personally. I have lived in a few haunted houses and one in particular which really affected me, thankfully I dont live there now..

BuddyButters Wed 20-Mar-13 12:24:17

Oh that's right. Give her some other guff to worry about.


ReallyTired Wed 20-Mar-13 13:02:26

Religion helps people build networks and communities. If Islam is helping the OP to be well then don't knock it. I am pleased for her even if I don't share her beliefs.

I think that mental illness has become overly medicalised. In the past the treatment of all mental illness was deemed the department of the church. This changed with King George III having full blown pychocis caused by porphyria. The arch bishop of canterbury was unable to cure the king. The king needed drugs and doctors which did not exist.

Nowadays GPs prescribe drugs for the common cold of mental illness ie. mild depression/ anxiety or even plain unhappiness.

However I think for low level depression and anxiety the listening ear of a kind priest probably did wonders. Being part of a community who attend church helped people make friends and gave structure to people's lives. I believe that prayer calms the mind and helps the person look outwards.

Stopping mild depression/ anxiety in its tracks prevent something simple turning into major depressive illness.

HotCrossNaanAndResurrectOn Wed 20-Mar-13 13:39:14

Oh Yay for the good old days before meds.

Much rather be medicated than be blasted with water, dropped through floors and put in rooms to be mocked or have the spirits beaten out of you. hmm

BLOO3Z Wed 20-Mar-13 13:40:49

I am shocked by the nasty reaction flakecake as got on here, what happend to support, and listening to someone who may not have the same opions as you.

HotCrossNaanAndResurrectOn Wed 20-Mar-13 13:41:54

"common cold of mental illness" indeed.

yes, talking therapies can be very effective - similar to talking to a priest, but research (you know, actual scientific studies that can be proved and all of that stuff) shows that its much more effective when both medical and counselling are combined.

TrampyPants Wed 20-Mar-13 13:54:06

What hotcross said. And I have never heard of a gp prescribing meds for "unhappiness". fgs.

Bloo, my concern is for the vulnerable users of this board. Many mners suffer delusions, paranoia, anxiety and hallucinations. Accepting that you have a mental illness is hard enough without the suggestion that its actually caused by demonic influences.

ReallyTired Wed 20-Mar-13 13:54:25


Depression is real and can be a serious illness. It is a whole spectrum and plenty of doctors believe that anti depressants are only appriopate for moderate to severe depression. At the mild end, the side affects of anti depressants outweigh the benefits.

"The Royal College of Psychiatry estimates that between 50 and 65% of people treated with an antidepressant for depression will benefit."

I believe that priests in the past did a good job of stopping MILD depression becoming something far worse. In a community where people talk to each other, depressed people get support before they realise that they are depressed. Familes and villages look after each other.

Its interesting to wonder why the incidence of both severe and mild mental illness has dramatically increased in recent years. Why do some communities have less incidence of depression than others?

ReallyTired Wed 20-Mar-13 14:01:27

Over prescription of anti depressants happens for understandable reasons.

The problem is that the waiting lists for theraphy are far too long. If nothing is done then the patient can become very ill. GPs often have very little time to assess whether someone is clinically depressed or just intensely unhappy as appointments are so short.

working9while5 Sat 23-Mar-13 14:48:51

I think it might be worthwhile remembering that for many years and in many cultures and traditions, acute human suffering was fully believed to be spiritual by the whole community. Were generations of people totally 'batshit crazy' for having these beliefs?

I am not a believer in any religion but I do know someone who claims to have been faith healed. She is asymptomatic. Depression is described in terms that are spiritual: feeling hopeless, empty, despondent etc. These days we call it illness but in the end of the day it is acute human suffering and there are people who look to faith to alleviate that suffering. This is not a disorder, it is just a different way of looking at the world.

What you think doesn't make you crazy, it is what you do with your thinking that disables you. Anyone can think of anything but if you are getting on with day to day life and functioning, you are not ill because you think differently to others.

What an unsupportive thread.

TheAccidentalEgghibitionist Sat 23-Mar-13 14:58:10

I disagree working9while5 a great many of us have offered constructive advice and voiced our concerns. The OP was saying she had been possessed. Many people would say that is not the voice of good mental health.
She messaged several of us which was intimidating and unpleasant and she was reported for that reason.
I take you have read the thread in its entirety?

TrampyPanterNoster Sat 23-Mar-13 15:01:49

what TheAccidental said. I stand by my belief that this thread is in a totally inappropriate place. had she posted this in S+P, fair enough. But this board is used by vulnerable posters who resent taking their meds, who hate having MH issues and in many cases suffer paranoia and delusions. suggesting that evil spirits and possession is to blame is not only counterproductive but also downright dangerous and irresponsible.

working9while5 Sat 23-Mar-13 15:24:10

And if someone is considered unwell is it helpful to be critical?

Either a) the OP is unwell, in which case being critical of symptoms is not fair or b) she is well and reporting the route to wellness as it worked for her. In Islam, faith is seen as highly powerful which runs counter to current mainstream thinking but there are many around the world who subscribe to beliefs of spirits and demons. That is just a fact.

If a vulnerable poster reads the post and is triggered by it, that is part of their illness not due to the op posting her beliefs about her life here. If she had come on to say 'do you think...' and was randomly discussing this as a cause of mental issues and suggesting others stop taking medication I would agree but the op has a right to view her experience as valid.

I sometimes think half our suffering is down to being told our minds are disordered/defunct/broken. I am coming to the conclusion that set of beliefs is as damaging as believing in spirits etc. What is important is how you function internally and externally and how you live, what you believe gets you there.

I am highly sceptical about faith healing but if it is supportive of some people living the lives they want to without suffering I don't think that should be discounted or reacted aggressively to because others don't agree. Many people have mixed feelings about meds etc and there should be room for discussion of alternatives.

working9while5 Sat 23-Mar-13 15:32:28

I do agree about pming being unfair but I don't think that an mh forum is an appropriate place to be talking about people's views being 'batshit' or being sarcastic etc.

Juggling' s post upthread hit the right note I think.

TrampyPanterNoster Sat 23-Mar-13 15:38:08

While it may not be helpful to call someone batshit etc, I am more concerned about the posters reading this. I dont dispute that religion, etc can be helpful to some people, but claiming that you were possessed by evil spirits and so on, ON a MH board is far from helpful. It's downright irresponsible. However, agree to disagree.

working9while5 Sat 23-Mar-13 15:55:14

One of the issues I have with mh forums is the intolerance of difference. Psychiatry is one of the few medical disciplines where if people are well it is because of their medication and if they are unwell it is because of their own irresponsibility/noncompliance Tec.

I think it is tricky. I have lived with and around mental illness my whole life. I have very rarely heard anyone convey a delusion that isn't somehow symbolic of their intense suffering if you view it laterally. And I am talking about extreme delusions like putting tinfoil on your forehead because you believe there are federal agents listening to your thoughts. The OP' s posts speak of intense suffering and pain. That is what I hear. I don't see that anyone else has a greater right on these boards to judge that sharing that pain is not okay because others also suffer.

I know some people find talk of spirits painful...but the fact that others suffer doesn't change the suffering of believing you have been possessed because you are weak due to traumatic events you have experienced, even if the op now feels well. Mental health professionals can be life saving and very helpful but others may have had extremely negative and even abusive experiences with them and unfortunately from a position of vulnerability or difference it can be very hard to communicate this or find an alternative route to wellness without sounding very unwell.

I don't know if op is well or not but her post was made as a genuine one and I can't see how it is irresponsible to share your genuine beliefs. It is surely just what she believes.. but yes, agree to disagree.

coxspippin Sat 23-Mar-13 16:36:06

flakecake- how did you come to know that you were possessed by evil spirits? and can you tell me which prayers and parts of the qu'ran you used/ use?

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